With over 416 million copies sold worldwide, he sure knows what makes readers tick.
When the hit series One Piece was serialized, its creator Eiichiro Oda was working an insane work schedule that would make any aspiring manga artist think twice about their choice of career.
Hard work will only carry one so far, however, and in a field like Oda’s having a keen sense of knowing what your fans want can spell the difference between smashing success and utter failure.
Anyone who has read manga will know of the book jacket flap where authors often rant about themselves, such as working overtime to meet strict deadlines. In an excerpt from an interview with the renowned One Piece creator, Oda’s simple approach to that flap hinted at what kept the iconic series running strong even after 20 years.
“I end up wracking my brain every time since my readers are quite eager to see them. I want to write trivial things as much as possible, and I guess it stemmed from my memories of comics when I was a kid. I once read about a manga artist’s struggles in the author’s corner (where they write rantings) and told myself that I wouldn’t write such things.
No one really cares about (an artist’s) hardships. And even if the author were to write about his problems, the readers wouldn’t understand them anyway, right? If so, I thought there’d be no point in writing it. Instead of reading something and becoming depressed, it would be much better to have my readers enjoy the content instead.”
Even with a crazy-packed work schedule, the legendary artist still managed to keep it all together for the sake of his fans.
Yet netizens were actually divided on the subject:
“This is rather admirable.”
“As expected from one of the three greats.”
“To be honest, I kinda like to see artists talk about their problems.”
“I love reading Oda’s rantings.”
“But I really like reading about what artists are going through.”
For a manga that has sold 416 million copies worldwide and is becoming a live-action TV series, we suppose whatever Oda is doing must be on the right track. Although fans of his non-ranting style should enjoy it while they can, seeing as the series will all be coming to an end in about eight years.
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